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THE government, through concerned state offices and agencies, would do well to stop the departure or deployment of “undocumented” overseas Filipino workers (OFWs).
Certainly, it will be hard to repatriate these migrant workers during emergencies because their exact location and contact numbers are unknown to the government.
In fact, in the past, government authorities found it very hard to locate the whereabouts of undocumented OFWs, many of them women.
In many instances, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Department of Labor and Employment just depended on the OFW relatives in the country for vital information.
It’s saddening and lamentable that when the situation gets really bad, that is the only time that our undocumented migrant workers run to the Philippine Embassy.
But we cannot blame our impoverished countrymen, including women, for going abroad as undocumented workers.
“Lalo na ‘yong mga kababayan nating walang hawak na dokumento na kailangan sa pag-abroad, kagaya ng school diploma at birth certificate,” said a former OFW.
Besides, Filipinos prefer to work overseas since everybody knows that there’s an acute shortage of high-paying jobs in the country.
And with meager income, poor people, many of them ordinary farmers, fishermen and laborers, cannot afford to send their children even to government-owned colleges.
Kaya nga hanggang sa ngayon ay marami pa tayong kababayan na gustong magtrabaho sa ibang bansa na TNT (tago ng tago).